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Candidate field for Willmar, Minn., utility GM job is now down to 2

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WILLMAR -- One of three finalists for the position of general manager of the Willmar Municipal Utilities has withdrawn his name from consideration.

Edward Bielarski, general manager of Panther Creek Partners of Carbon County, Pa., withdrew from consideration for personal reasons, a spokeswoman for Springsted Inc. of St. Paul said Tuesday.

Springsted, an employment consultant, has been working with the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission in the process of filling the position that's been vacant since February after the commission terminated former general manager Bruce Gomm.

One of the remaining finalists is Wesley Hompe. He has served as Willmar Utilities interim co-manager since December 2011. He had served as staff electrical engineer from May 1989 through December 2011. His resume also lists Hompe Engineering, LLC, January 2010, and a prior position as service area assistant engineer for Illinois Power, Decatur, Ill., from May 1985 to May 1989.

Hompe received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology at Rapid City, S.D., and has frontline leadership and financial planning experience.

The other finalist is John Harren, city of Melrose public works director from 2004 to the present and co-city administrator from 2009 to 2011. He previously served as city of Freeport city clerk-administrator from 1988 to 2000 and served as public works director from 1982 to 1988.

He received his associate of applied science degree in supervisory management from Alexandria Technical College. He holds a Class C water license, Class C wastewater license and emergency management and hazardous material certificates.

Hompe and Harren will be interviewed by the full commission on Monday. They and Bielarski were selected as finalists from five semifinalists by the commission's Labor Committee on Aug. 15.

The commission has said mid-September is the target date for selecting a new general manager.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150